(First off: I'm sure you all read on Diablo's blog that we had our first lawyer meeting. It went awesome. We cracked jokes all the way through it (much to the dismay and confusion of our poor lawyer), and followed it up with beer and pub food at the Village Idiot, my fave LA watering hole. If there's an award for "best Hollywood divorce ever," I expect to win it, and in my speech I'm not gonna forget all the little people. Okay?)
Second of all: since I'm an extremely public and open person who wears his heart on his bloody, sodden sleeve, I'm just gonna come out and say this. There are people out there who have a problem with the fact that I'm in a relationship. And see, here's the thing: I was not aware that love had a set of rules. I always thought that emotions were emotions, and they happened when and how they happened, and sometimes they happen at inopportune times, but such is life. But what I didn't know was that there are laws, apparently set down by some irate ancient Greek who wasn't getting any. Here they are:
1. When you split up with someone, you have to wait a certain amount of time (six months, one year, two years, ten years) before you can get into another relationship. Either for mourning, or for just, y'know, prudence.
2. When you DO date again, you have to make sure the person you're dating is somebody random -- it can't be someone you knew already, and certainly can't be someone who dated someone else you know.
3. Make sure you know the difference between real love and the following: puppy love, lust, infatuation, confused feelings, depression, friendship, "like," etc.
There are others, but those are the three that people have made me the most aware of recently. The other correlaries ("You shouldn't date someone more than five inches shorter than you," "make sure they're relatively the same age as yourself," "never go ass to mouth," etc.) are like Love Misdemeanors. Those three are apparently the big Love Felonies, and if you break them, the Love Police comes, locks you up in Love Jail, and -- I don't know where I'm going with this, but bear with me.
Look, as I said before: love is love. You can't predict when it's gonna happen. It just happens. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Sometimes its with someone you just met, outta the blue, and sometimes its with someone you knew for a long, long time. Sometimes it happens at the right time, like when you've been single for two years and you're ready to cynically give up on romance and all of a sudden BAM the right person comes along (or so I'm told). And sometimes it happens at the wrong time, like when you're in a relationship or just out of one. But it happens when it happens.
And the thing is: there's no stopping it. I mean, yeah, you can deny yourself like some kind of crazed monk, lock yourself up in, uh, a Love Monestary with other Love Monks and go "I DENY THIS LOVE! I MUST PURGE IT FROM MY BEING!" Or you can, you know, be happy. I need to knock off the metaphors right now, but anyway, let me continue while I'm on a roll.
For the record: yeah, I mourned. I mourned like a motherfucker. The 20-some lbs. I lost (and then, depressingly, gained back, all to my stomach) are testament to my mourning. People mourn in their own ways, in their own times, and I mourned as long as I needed to mourn, and then, thanks mostly to the fact that Diablo and I are damn good friends still, began the "healing process" as they call it. Which was accelerated perhaps by the fact that Diablo and I didn't spend five months screaming at each other in a court of law, preferring instead to laugh over beers and crack jokes about our breakup (it was called, yesterday, "that break-up kerfuffle." Yeah. That's the attitude!)
So then I, y'know, I fell in love. What was I supposed to do? "So yeah, I'm in love with this person, and I know for a fact that I wanna spend my life with this person but, ah, heck, its just kinda inconvenient right now, and people are looking at me funny, and there's a few people kinda turning their noses up at it -- so hell with it, hell with my happiness, hell with her happiness, hell with our feelings, I'm going to DENY THEM and ditch this person to the (k/c)urb and WAIT UNTIL PEOPLE THINK ITS MORE PRUDENT."
Um, no. See, here's the deal you may not know about me: I like to break rules. Dunno if you knew that about me, but its true. I don't make any apology for love, thanks.
Also: I'm 37 years old. And for the record (I'm going on the record a lot these days!), I was married THREE TIMES (and before you all think I'm some kind of inherently flawed individual -- the first breakup is the only one that was entirely 100% my fault. Number two was entirely NOT my fault, and number three was just this thing that was neither of our fault. So circumstances were NOT the same. If anything I'm just a hopeless romantic and never lost faith in marriage. But I digress.) and I know the difference between love and not love. I know what lust feels like -- I read pornography, thanks. I know what puppy love feels like -- I was a fucking teenager. I know what "muddled feelings" feel like, having once before jumped too quickly into a really shitty relationship in post-breakup confusion and desire to find someone the exact opposite of the person I was with. So I'm not confused. I'm thirty-seven, I have lots of relationships behind me, and I know what I want out of life and what love is and what respect and relationships and all that stuff are about.
Dunno. Does any of this make any sense? Both Trixi and myself -- and lots of other people I know and respect -- have always been the kind of people to make no apologies about our feelings for people. And I think that's something to admire rather than pity.
And yes, I am extremely happy. If you know and love me, that should be what really matters.